Thursday, June 15, 2017
6-7pm: “Common Goods” Workshop (Cambridge Arts) Free.
Location: Cambridge Common, at the Main Plaza / Civil War Monument
Demonstration and performance by artists Allison Smith & Judith Leeman. Free.
How do common American crafts such as the Windsor chair inform the common good?
Can they point us to a future “commons” that we want?
7:15-8:30pm: History Cafe (Cambridge Historical Society) Ticketed.
Hong Kong Restaurant, 1238 Mass. Ave. (Harvard Square). Ticketed.
Discussion with artists Allison Smith & Judith Leeman, joined by craft historian Ezra Shales. Led by Laura Roberts.
- How does personal and public art / craft contribute to “what Cambridge makes”?
- What do local colonial-era craft making traditions have to teach us about our shared present and future?
- Can participatory public art contribute to making a shared “commons”?
Allison Smith is an internationally-recognized and widely-exhibited artist. She currently teaches and lives in the San Francisco Bay area. Her artistic practice investigates the cultural phenomenon of historical reenactment, or Living History, using it as a means of addressing the relationship between American history, social activism, craft, and identity.
Judith Leeman is an exhibiting artist, with an active studio, research, and teaching practice. She is Associate Professor of Fine Arts at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Ezra Shales is an art historian, curator, and artist whose research, publications, and exhibitions explore the intersection of design, craft, and art in modern and contemporary culture. A professor at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, he is the author of Made in Newark: Cultivating Industrial Arts and Civic Identity in the Progressive Era (2010), which analyzes art as an expression of civic ideals.
Laura Roberts, principal of Roberts Consulting, is a leader and adviser to innumerable cultural institutions and museums. The Cambridge Historical Society benefits from her expertise on its Programs Committee. She has been teaching graduate students in arts and nonprofit management since 1991.